My second post of the day is here. Whew! Two months felt like an eternity, and the writer has been starved of her source of inspiration. Not anymore. If I crank out tons of post, it’s just the rebound.
Once, I asked a close companion for advice on physical boundaries. She gave me a reply that stung like the devil, but was unfortunately truthful.
Alaina, you don’t have physical boundaries. You have stone walls.
Then, she proceeded to berate my aversion by scolding me for not being as physically available as I should be. While I could have gone without that castigation, she was right. Physically speaking, I have a fortress surrounding me. I’ve said multiple times that I’ve overcome this aversion, and for the most part, I have. I’m trying to stay positive here, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t improve. Dance has been amazing in helping me overcome this, which you can read about here. Why do I have an aversion to physical contact? I’m not going to say “I just do”, nor am I going to go into detail. All you need to know is this, I’ve had my share of pain in life, like everybody has, and that’s created and contributed to this issue I’m dealing with.
Basically, I have trouble making eye contact with people (DP being the notable exception, along with Adrian). I don’t like giving hugs, though I’ll certainly hug you if you want one. And, there are some dance partners, socially speaking, that I just feel uncomfortable dancing with, mostly emotional. When it comes to dance partners, I really can’t explain that one. I’m just chalking it up to general paranoia.
For example, I feel very uncomfortable around one particular classmate, which perturbs me because I didn’t feel this way initially. When I first met him, I felt perfectly comfortable dancing and chatting with him. It started last Friday during group class. Some part of me felt like he was trying to hold me too close. Chances are, he probably wasn’t. But, anxiety triggered nonetheless. So, I offered more resistance with my right arm, trying to tell him to back up. We were dancing Rhythm, so we didn’t have to be that close. On Saturday (the studio is now having one group class on Saturdays now), I was still pretty tense, and he noticed. He proceeded to pull me closer, and gave me a nice pat on the back telling me to relax. He was just being sweet, but that only wanted to make me resist more. Like I said I don’t know why.
The real question is, “What am I going to do about it?” The answer: I’m going to keep dancing. Besides that, I’ll try to venture out of my comfort zone and occasionally initiate physical contact by patting friends on the back or offering hugs. My only advice to those suffering from a similar problem is to try your best to step out of your own comfort zone. Shake hands firmly, give hugs, put yourself in bigger social situations, etc. It’s hard, hard as heck, but it works.
And sometimes, blessings will rain down from above and you’ll met a person or a group of people who immediately disarm you. Nick did this to me, and I’m very grateful for his presence is my life. I’ve said that many times, too. But I don’t mind repeating it. He’s impacted me more than I ever thought he would. That being said, I miss him and hope he’s alright during this on-off absence from the studio. Back to my point, don’t think this can’t happen. Some people just have an extraordinary ability to utterly destroy any barriers you’ve constructed. If this happens to you, don’t be afraid. Let your guard down slightly. Chances are, they’re just what the doctor ordered. You know, I had no friends my freshman year of high school because no one wanted to be my friend. That all changed sophomore year when a group of three freshman girls asked if they could sit with me. I had taken to sitting by myself as I no longer had the gumption to ask if I could join another group. We instantly clicked. I know why. They instantly tore down my walls, and were immediately open to being my friend. They made high school tolerable. To close, I’d like to give some encouragement: Don’t be afraid to step out. That’s when miracles happen.